This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.
Taking your cat to the vet can be a total rodeo! It all starts with coaxing your feline friend out from under the bed and into the carrier. Then the chorus of sad sounds they vocalize fill the car ALL the way to the clinic. Next comes the waiting room full of strange smells, other cats, and offensive dogs. All of this has taken place before the vet visit has even started! Once you are placed in the exam room, you discover that your kitty is so terrified, they have peed in the carrier. You feel stressed and guilty, and just want to get your cat home where they feel safest. Sound about right?
It comes as no surprise that half of cats in the U.S. do not receive routine veterinary care. In this article, I am going to share with you my favorite tips and tricks to get your kitty veterinary support with way less stress.
Tips for a Successful Vet Visit for Your Cat
- Try a mobile veterinarian. As a house call veterinarian, I get to enjoy my feline patients in the comfort of their own home. They are generally less stressed and I get to go slow and honor their space. Most of my physical exam is masked as affection and play which helps kitties to feel more at ease. Most mobile veterinarians are well-equipped to perform everything except x-rays and surgery in your home.
- Better living through chemistry. Anti-anxiety drugs and supplements can be game changers when it comes to getting cats veterinary care. Just like people enjoy mild sedation at their dentist’s office, cats can really relax with the addition of some pre-visit pharmaceuticals. I really like gabapentin and dispense it in a liquid or melting tablets. For a more natural, less sedating approach, I use CBD to help my feline patients before and after veterinary care. For the average 10 pound cat, I recommend 4-8 drops of HempRx 2 hours before a visit.
- Introduce the carrier before the visit. Let your kitty become friends with that strange box before you actually need to use it. If they only see their chariot during stressful visits, they will run every time it’s in sight. You can play a game around the carrier, give your cat treats in the carrier, or even feed your cat inside or around the carrier.
- Prepare yourself. Taking my kitty to the vet is stressful and exhausting even for myself. I plan ahead by making sure I have had enough to eat and drink and by bringing a snack. Snacks are always appropriate, right? Writing down your concerns and questions before the visit can help keep you organized and on track. Ensure that your veterinarian has records from previous clinics to make the visit more efficient and to avoid administering vaccines that have already been given. If your kitty goes outside, bringing a fresh poop sample will make your veterinarian happy. We are easy to win over!
Your kitty is so lucky to be loved by you! Here is to a better vet visit for you and your kitty!
Sending all my love,